Red Dawn (2012)

Red Dawn (2012) 3 Out of 5

I was so excited to go see the remake of Red Dawn. Unfortunately things went down hill quickly. My oldest son opened his box of gobstoppers and dropped them on the floor. Everyone in the theater turned around and took a look. Great way to start the night.

I remember seeing the original Red Dawn when I was ten or eleven and loving it, so the remake had a lot to live up to. Remakes are such a dangerous game. You have to be different enough to be interesting and yet similar enough to pay homage to the original work.

It is a tough line to walk.

In this case, I think they should have called the movie, “Russia Invades” or “Korean Menace” or “The TV Show Revolution device was weaponized by the North Koreans”. You know, something like that. I think if I wasn’t comparing the movie to the original it would have performed better.

On the positive front, the action scenes were plentiful and there were numerous well done gun battles. There are also some nice shots of Adrianne Palicki’s rear and the oriental tattoo on the small of her back. I’m hoping that was really hers, and not just added for the film.

On the negative front, a lot of the homage paid to the previous Red Dawn film was heavy handed. The tracking device and both how it got there, and what ended up happening because of it were very well done. In this version, it made no real sense either in how it was applied, and or the outcome. It felt like it was added in because it was a box that had to be checked, so even if it made no sense, so be it.

The other part that bothered me a bit was that Josh, oh, I’m sorry, I meant Matt, needs a haircut. I can’t look at him without wondering where Drake is. Maybe if he had cut his hair and looked just a little bit different I wouldn’t have flash backs to Drake & Josh every time he appeared on screen.

Then there is Erica, Matt’s love interest, who apparently get’s put on a bus by the bad guys for random trips. Where was she going? And why when Josh was saving her did none of the other prisoners on the bus seem to care about the keys to their cuffs or escaping as well?

And then there was the ending, which I found to be just a tad too corny even for my taste. Josh’s speech and then the mustang with the chain gun were just over the top. And I love Mustangs. I love my 2007 Mustang and think a chaingun on the back would rock.

In the end I didn’t feel like I got robbed of close to forty bucks for three people to go see the movie, but it wasn’t a movie that I walked away from thinking, “Wow, that was really awesome.” Maybe it will go over better when it comes out on DVD and I can watch it on my couch with a beer in my hand.